US$40m Renovation at Four Seasons Buenos Aires

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From tango in the milongas of San Telmo to wandering around the French-style châteaux and petits hotels of Recoleta, the reasons to visit Buenos Aires are legion, and few of the Argentinian capital’s hotels can match the Four Seasons (Posadas 1086/88, C1011ABB; 54-11/4321-1200), which has reopened after a major US$40 million renovation—including two new restaurants, updated guest quarters, and fresh public spaces.

Four Season Buenos Aires has been housed in La Mansión, one of the more notable Beaux Arts examples in the wealthy neighborhood of Recoleta, since the company assumed management of the building in 2001. Constructed by Félix Saturnino de Álzaga Unzué as a gift to his wife—the finishing touches were made in 1920—the building is a monument to a society circuit in thrall to Belle Époque Paris—it is not just for its seemingly natural sense of style that the city continues to be called “The Paris of South America.”

The first thing returning visitors will notice is porteña artist Vivienne Duchini’s sculpture of five horses mid-canter, which is toned down slightly by the jasmine vines on the edifice. On entering the hotel, guests will have a chance to cast an eye on Dubai-based design firm WA International’s new lobby, which retains its sense of scale and opts for purple accents among the usual Beaux Arts standards and shiny macassar ebony. Continuing the horse theme—more a nod to the country’s domination of world polo—Alejandro Moy’s Caballos Libres depicts several horses in a hurry, while the silver screens perhaps soften the effect with lines inspired by movement in the tango.

In the guest rooms, new leather sliding doors partition the bed and bath, where mosaics in crystalline shades of blue and crema marfil marble are new additions. Expect more horseplay in the bedrooms—such as nail-studded trims and leather door handles, while the technological upgrades include mirrors with built-in LCD televisions.

The new signature restaurant is named for the architect’s wife, Elena. Executive chef Juan Gaffuri and sommelier Sebastian Maggi aim to convey a sense of corazón, which loosely translates as heart, into a space that is typical Buenos Aires: duotone floor tiles, high ceilings, cast spiral staircase, and unexpected design flourishes.

Upstairs, Pony Line offers more homage to the horse, and a fine line in cocktails, while the meeting rooms and wedding venues will be opened up in the coming months.

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